When search for a problem of my latex file, I found the answer in this question: ! LaTeX Error: File `IEEEtran.cls' not found

The highest voted answer solved my problem precisely, and apparently did the same for many other users, as the answer has 29 votes and 27K views.

The problem is that the question is closed as a duplicate of How can I manually install a package on MiKTeX (Windows), which is way more specific than the original question, since it only deals with miktex on windows, and not the general error. The closure could be said to be "correct" in a sense, but only if one considers a comment by the OP, where he specifies using windows.

But for the general case asked in the question and answered in the answer section, it seems non-nonsensical.

So my meta-question is the following: Is it valid for a question to be closed just based on a comment by the OP, without considering the general case that is asked in the question and covered in the answers? Or alternatively should this question be reopened, as the posted (correct) answer is not covered in the duplicate?

Some people may say that it's pointless to reopen a question that is already well answered, but in my opinion reopening would make sense for two reasons:

  • In the future, a better answer could be posted, due to changing technology, or just by someone wanting to expand further on the problem and the solution (the actual answer is quite terse).
  • It sends a wrong message that the question is covered by the duplicate, when in fact it isn't, so people click on a link that isn't useful in many cases.

1 Answer 1


This is a reasonable question, and shows a limitation of how this forum works.

The question where you found your answer is about Windows, but that was only identified in a comment, and never added to the question itself. The answer that solved your problem is for Linux, so even though it's a great answer for Linux, it's not relevant to the actual question. Even making the tagging more specific wouldn't have helped you.

Under the circumstances, the decision to close seems reasonable to me, although I wasn't among those who voted to close.

Perhaps adding a new, very specific, well-defined and well-tagged, question, would be an appropriate resolution, copying in (as an answer) the "irrelevant" answer with proper attribution.

Or, there's a meta question titled "Often referenced questions", where one of the categories is "Installing, updating, restoring, other system operations" with a subcategory "Installing packages". One of the items there addresses Linux systems, with an answer containing the information that helped you, although in a less compact form.

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